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Urine test to detect brain tumours

MicroRNAs in urine could be a promising biomarker to diagnose brain tumours and regular urine tests could help early detection and treatment, it is claimed.

As a diagnostic biomarker of cancerous tumours, microRNAs have recently received considerable attention.

MicroRNAs are secreted from various cells, and exist in a stable and undamaged condition within extracellular vesicles in biological fluids, such as blood and urine.

Nagoya University researchers focused on microRNAs in urine as a biomarker of brain tumours. The new device they developed is equipped with 100 million zinc oxide nanowires, which can be sterilised and mass-produced, and is therefore suitable for actual medical use.

The device can extract a significantly greater variety and quantity of microRNAs from only a millilitre of urine compared with conventional methods.

The analysis of the microRNAs that were collected using the device from the urine of patients with brain tumours and non-cancer individuals revealed that many microRNAs derived from brain tumours actually exist in urine in a stable condition.

The results showed that the model can distinguish the patients from non-cancer individuals at a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 97%, regardless of the malignancy and size of tumours.

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Image Credit | Nagoya-University

 

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